Sermon Notes: Hebrews 12:18-29

What should new covenant worship look like? I gave a brief answer on Sunday.

1.       New covenant worship is decentralized on earth. We do not all have to be in one physical location to worship. No matter where saints are gathered, South Africa, Pensacola, FL. or Morgantown, WV, if they are in Christ they are worshiping on Mt. Zion. 
2.       To refuse new covenant worship is to sit on the door while the feast goes on inside. It is to choose mud over steak. It is to live in the slum instead of the mansion. There is no greater sin than this. (c.f. Matthew 22, I Cor. 5:8) Refusing grace is to refuse glory and feasting and joy and gladness. The primary gospel message is not believe in Jesus Christ so you won’t go to Hell. It is believe in Jesus Christ so you won’t miss the feast.
3.       Our worship should be filled with the Word of God. God still speaks. We must still listen. God has not stopped speaking. 
4.       Our worship should be shot through with gratitude. Gratitude is rooted in humility.
5.       Our worship should be shot through with awe, fear, and reverence. Again this comes from humility before the God who made Heaven and Earth and who redeemed us from the pit.
6.       In worship we come to the same God as the Israelites on Mt. Sinai.  We come to the same consuming fire. God has not changed. He does things now just as he did then. Except the priests and sacrifices and temple were all weak and have been replaced by the greater Priest, Sacrifice and Temple.
7.       Our worship should give equal access to all Christians. The table is for all.  That is why all Christians can eat and drink with us. That is why our baptized children come to the table. They are part of this new covenant. Anyone we consider a Christian needs to be included. There is no longer a veil.
8.       Our worship should be bold because of Christ. (Hebrews 4:16, 10:19-23) The foundation of our worship is the shed blood of Christ. The most amazing thing is not that God is a consuming fire, but that you can stand in the presence of this consuming fire.
9.       Our worship should shake the world out of us.  Christ came to shake the world. (c.f. I John 2:17) The world is passing away. The world is transient. The nations are transient.  America is a shadow. There is stone filling the earth. A kingdom whose dominion shall be from shore to shore. A King to whom all kings will bow. This means part of worship is to show us where we have compromised with the world.  And our worship is to remind us that the kingdoms of this world are a drop in the bucket. (Isaiah 40:15)
10.   Our worship should focus on the unshakeable Kingdom of Christ. The great realities of the cross, redemption, sin, worship, etc. should dominate our worship. This will not make our worship irrelevant. It will make the whole world relevant for us. 

A Profession of Faith is Not Enough

“Being in the light that is the life of the New Covenant requires more than a profession of faith. Several times John contrasts what people say with what is actually the case (I John 1:6-7, 2:10). We do not have fellowship with Christ merely by saying we have fellowship with him. We must not only say we have fellowship with Light, we must actually walk in the light, especially by living in fellowship and love with our brothers in the church.” (Peter Liethart, From Behind the Veil, p. 52)